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Adopting a Grading or Marking System Based on Students’ Success

Emma Berry Emma Berry   |   28/11/2018

Grading or marking approaches differ vastly in schools and there are many different ideas to approach it. In this blog, we’re going to look at how you can apply a student-centered grading or marking strategy in your classroom. Check out our four top tips!

1. Grades/scores should reflect learning

If students are misbehaving or being disrespectful, it can be tempting to tell them that they will lose points. However, and you may already advocate this, when scores reflect behavior, they don’t necessarily reflect a student’s learning. Although negative behavior should carry consequences, it’s important to make sure that those consequences don’t alter a student’s grades.

2. Concentrate on the performance of summative assessments

Although formative assessments such as quizzes or homework assignments are important, and they give students the opportunity to practice what they’re learning, it should be pointed out that they are small-scale measures of understanding and should be weighted significantly less than higher-stakes summative assessments. Summative assessments are designed to be given to students after they have achieved mastery to demonstrate learning and formative assessments gauge understanding. The majority of a student’s grade is based on summative assessments so it will more accurately reflect their learning at the end of the unit, rather than formative assessment scores in the meantime.

3. Don’t be too hard on late work

Sometimes it’s problematic to ask a student to move onto a new concept when they struggled to master a previous skill. All students work at their own pace and sometimes, student understanding needs to take priority over set schedules.

If a student does have a valid reason for an extension on a task, they are taking responsibility over their learning and building self-advocacy skills. So it can be fair to say that when it’s right, a less strict approach to deadlines can benefit your students’ progress.

4. Allow retakes for summative assessments

Although a dividing issue, it may be worth giving your students the opportunity to retake summative assessments. You may want to give a student a different summative assessment for them to retake the same concepts. However, it may be worth telling your students that the second score then stands and by accepting their retake score, this can serve as motivation to thoroughly prepare and master the concepts they need to if needed from the new performance.

Not just judgement and punishment, grading and marking are wholly about progress. By adopting this kind of approach, you can revolutionize your classroom for both your teaching and students’ learning.

Emma Berry

Customer Services and Implementation Specialist

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